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Missing: Since January


Mark E
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This game kind of snuck out low-key style and it's an adventure game, which means it will get even less publicity than the norm ;).

 

It's retailing for about $20 and posits the CD you receive as one given to a news corp by persons unknown regarding a missing reporter of theirs, who disappeared with his companion investigating a serial killer.

 

By following clues on the CD, you unlock clips of the log left by the missing persons and try to figure out what's going on.

 

Very clever and the game is done really, really well. Quite creepy. The thing is, this is like the Majestic wanted to be but reportedly was not. You enter an e-mail address at the start of the game and you begin to receive e-mails from various persons working on the CD as part of a team, etc etc, and a lot of your puzzles will take you online to various secret websites set up by the team.

 

It's very immersive and one of the most original takes on a gaming experience I've seen in quite a while. Only done a little bit so far, but I really like what I see. And it runs on ancient PCs as well ;).

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Yep, sorry Joey, had that up in Canadian dollars. :P

 

I'm plugging away to the end of this one, looks like there's about ten solid hours for this one, maybe more if you're stumped on something for a while (I admit to using hints twice, shame of it all). I've basically played it non-stop since yesterday, so I have a good idea of how much time I've wasted.

 

It's the best adventure game I've played in years and the most unique game I've played since DDR.

 

Anybody who likes adventure games and doesn't mind spatial logic puzzles and other wordy brainteasers would do well to give this a go. The integration of the e-mails and websites is fantastic. The game cleverly has a couple instances where you can get the answers from real websites, so the reality line blurs nicely there. Then the other created sites are often so well designed that you aren't sure if you've found what you're looking for.

 

Big plus.

 

Oh, and you can e-mail various persons during the game for help with puzzles, and even though they are not real people, you can get a response back with help and clues. Now that's cool. :tu:

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Hope you enjoy it Joey :).

 

I can really see how this isn't a game that'll be to everybody's tastes. There are some diabolically clever puzzles (though help is but an e-mail away :green:) and half the fun/point is figuring out just what the rules are for any given puzzle. Hell, I won a couple and I still have no idea how or what I was doing...

 

But just to tick off the total puzzle people, there are some twitch arcade puzzles as well. And yeah, some puzzles are annoying as all get out.

 

It really hardly seems to matter though. The originality in the telling makes this so much more compelling than similar titles I've played such as The 7th Guest or Myst, where there's a weak-ass framework around a series of puzzles. Here the framework is slightly more solid and the attempts to make it feel real are much appreciated.

 

Rumor has it a sequel might be coming. I'll be first in line if that's the case. Best commercial adventure game I've played in, damn, years now. :tu:

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I'm referring to the original :).

 

Admittedly I only puttered around with the demo, but it was enough to tell me I didn't want to find out if the main game was any different. The whole first person wandering around a bunch of graphics with no people seemed dull to me and still does.

 

To each their own ;).

 

Although I will give Myst props because I have heard that they worked up the presentation a bit in the latter series entries. I'm just not a big fan of "here's the puzzles go nuts, and oh yeah there's nothing else around anywhere" style of game. Which is why I was surprised that I liked Missing so much because it's the same damn thing, but the presentation really helps sell it for me.

 

Feedback goes a long way to making puzzles more palatable.

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The whole first person wandering around a bunch of graphics with no people seemed dull to me and still does.

 

I guess reading the books (which I think I did before ever playing the games) helped me feel like there was more to it.

 

In Riven and Exile, though, there are definitely other people about.

 

Anyways, it's nice to hear more good things about this Missing game. I'm hoping to get out and find a copy tomorrow. Can never get enough of adventure/puzzle games!

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The whole first person wandering around a bunch of graphics with no people seemed dull to me and still does.

 

Well really, that was the whole point. You started out on a deserted island with no idea who you were, where you were, and what you had to do. Gradually as you walked around you came across arcane machinery and abandoned buildings with libraries in them, and if you read the books or tried to mess around with the machines, eventually you started to pick up on the story. I found it incredibly engaging, and the lack of people there to tell you what to do or where to go just made it that much more eerie. I actually didn't like the subsequent games because I preferred the solitude of the first title.

 

To each their own indeed, Mark, but I hardly think "puttering around in the demo" qualifies you to categorize the game as having a "weak-ass framework". I'm also not sure it's entirely fair to compare the complexity of a 10-year-old game to a current title.

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I hardly think "puttering around in the demo" qualifies you to categorize the game as having a "weak-ass framework".

 

Oh, but in context of whether I'll play it or not, it really does, Dave.

 

Reasonable or no, you basically confirmed exactly what I got from the demo. Myst is pretty but empty, and for me that is literal and figurative. Clearly you and Shawn found a lot to like there, but it left me totally cold.

 

I'm not trying to make the ultimate proclamation on Myst anyway, just give my own broad opinion on it :). I know I've liked quite a few games that others don't.

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Oh, but in context of whether I'll play it or not, it really does, Dave.

 

Fair enough. If you were talking strictly in terms of whether or not you'll play it then sure, a few minutes to get the general gist of the gameplay is usually sufficient. Certainly I needed no more than 15 minutes of Grand Theft Auto 3 to realize that it wasn't for me. But if you're going to casually dismiss one of the most popular games of all time with a blanket throwaway comment like "weak-ass framework around a series of puzzles", chances are you will be asked to clarify at some point. :P

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No problemo, Dave. :tu:

 

Generally I always speak from a personal viewpoint, but you're right, I may have been too catch-all at first.

 

If you've ever played Curse of Monkey Island, talk to the ferryman there. He sums up my thoughts on Myst quite well ;).

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Cool, Mark, I've always wanted to catch the Monkey Island series, and you've just given me a great reason to. :)

 

Looking forward to "Missing" as well (to try to get back on topic...er, sorry). I haven't had much luck finding it yet, but I'm headed to Best Buy tomorrow for Kill Bill 2, so hopefully my luck will turn.

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Ha, don't sweat the digression, Dave. I already finished the game on the weekend ;).

 

I feel like I should go back and give Myst another chance though, since people whose opinions I actually respect seem to have enjoyed it. Only problem being actually finding the damn thing of course :P.

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I feel like I should go back and give Myst another chance though, since people whose opinions I actually respect seem to have enjoyed it.

 

Geez, I hope to hell you aren't including ME in that list. Keeping in mind this is a guy who intensely disliked not only GTA3, but also Splinter Cell (the first one) and Ocarina of Time, and who couldn't get into Chrono Trigger and most of the Final Fantasy games (Tactics, Tactics Advance, and FFVII excluded). So yeah, I'm like certifiable or something... :P

 

As much as I enjoyed Myst, I have to say go with your gut on this one. If big, cryptic, empty worlds aren't your bag, there isn't a lot else to recommend this title to you. But if I can dig up my copy, I'll be happy to send it along anyway.

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Ah, that's right, they updated it. ;)

 

Maybe I will go gut on this one.

 

Though not liking Splinter Cell (the first one) and the majority of Final Fantasy games puts you firmly in my camp, Dave :P.

 

That Ocarina of Time thing though... phew.

 

And I'm rather ambivalent to GTA3. Good game, not great.

 

Heh, and I do look forward to seeing if people actually like Missing. I suspect it will be another divided issue, actually. LIke I said up above, it's clearly not going to be a game for everybody.

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